Will The Baby Look Like The Surrogate Mother?

All About Surrogacy 

The moment you decide to consider getting involved in the surrogacy process is the same moment a ton of questions will pour into your mind. That should be expected. Why? It’s an indication that you know just how important and complicated surrogacy really is for both prospective surrogates and prospective intended parents.

Rest assured, the process is important and complicated. It’s important because a giving woman (the surrogate) will be asked to give of herself for the benefit of strangers (intended parents), who might not otherwise get a chance to be parents. It’s complicated because of the legalities and moral imperatives that must be considered at every step throughout the surrogacy process.

Of all the questions we get at the Surrogacy Center of Philadelphia, there is one in particular that we find quite interesting. In fact, it’s quite common for an interested party to ask the question, “will the baby look like the surrogate mother.”

We like this question and would like to offer an in-depth answer in the sections below.

Two Types of Surrogacy

Two Types of Surrogacy. Will the baby look like the surrogate mother

Before we answer the DNA question of is a surrogate mother the biological mother, it seems prudent for us to discuss the two main types of surrogacy. In doing so, the answer will start to come into focus.

The two main types of surrogacy are traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. Both types turn on which woman’s egg cells are going to be used in the surrogacy process.

Traditional surrogacy requires that the egg cells come directly from the selected surrogate. The fertility clinician is charged with harvesting her egg cells for in vitro fertilization before placing a fertilized egg back in the surrogate’s womb. The sperm cell can come from the intended father or a donor.

The gestational surrogacy process relies on the intended mother to provide the egg cells. After taking fertility drugs, her eggs are harvested and then fertilized in vitro, using the sperm of the intended father or a donor. After fertilization, a fertilized egg is injected into the surrogate’s womb where it will grow into a beautiful baby.

Does a Surrogate Mother Share DNA With the Baby?

At this point, you now have the knowledge you need to answer the following question: “Does the surrogate mother share DNA with the baby?” or “Will the baby look like the surrogate mother”

The answer to the DNA question is maybe. If the interested parties were to use traditional surrogacy, the answer would be yes, the baby’s DNA would come from the surrogate and the intended father or sperm donor.

If the interested parties were going with the gestational surrogacy process, the answer would be no. In this case, the intended mother’s DNA would match the baby’s, as well as that of the intended father or sperm donor.

In most cases, intended parents would strongly prefer going with gestational surrogacy. That would ensure that the baby would have a genetic connection to at least one parent, that being the intended mother. If the intended father’s sperm were used, then both parents would have a baby that is genetically theirs. The surrogate would only be asked to carry the child on their behalf until birth.

How Does Surrogacy Affect the Child?

How Does Surrogacy Affect the Child? Will the baby look like the surrogate mother

The main question is, “Will The Baby Look Like The Surrogate Mother?”

We have now identified the circumstance under which the baby will share DNA with either the surrogate mother or the intended mother. To answer the main question, it’s simply a matter of genetics.

According to genetic science, a child will have some characteristics that come from the egg donor and some from the sperm donor. If the egg donor is the surrogate from traditional surrogacy, the baby will hold the potential of having characteristics in common with the surrogate mother. Does that include looking like her?

Well, where are all guilty of sometimes saying a child looks like the biological mommy and or daddy. Whether that’s true or not is up for debate in most cases. What we can offer is this.

There is some chance a child with a surrogate’s DNA might look a little like the surrogate mother. There is no chance they will look like the intended mother as a result of traditional surrogacy.

Later in the child’s life, their actual DNA might become more relevant. That could happen if the surrogate or intended mother needed a blood transfusion or organ donor.

What are the Qualifications to Be a Surrogate?

As a prospective surrogate, you should now clearly understand your possible DNA connection to the child based on the type of surrogacy in which you might participate. Before you proceed any further, it’s imperative that you have an equal understanding of surrogate qualifications.

It’s noteworthy that the qualifications might vary from one state to the next. It’s even possible that within the same state, they might vary from one clinic to the next unless dictated by state law. We can only speak specifically to the requirements that we put forth in our Philadelphia clinic.

We take these requirements seriously. That’s for the benefit of us, you, as the surrogate, and the intended parent or parent. These qualifications or requirements are in place to ensure you are safe to go through the process and the intended parents have an optimal chance of getting the baby they so much want. With all of this in mind, here are some of our most basic requirements:

  • Age requirement – you must be between the ages of 21 to 40 (optimum childbearing ages)
  • Body Mass Index– healthy women have a BMI of between 20 and 32
  • You must have had at least one successful pregnancy with no history of pregnancy or delivery issues
  • You must be in good physical and mental health
  • We give strong preference to women who are currently raising a small child at home
  • Must be a resident of the U.S.
  • Must live in a stable living environment
  • Must be financially stable
  • Must be willing and able to take all prescribed medication
  • Must not have a criminal history and no recent substance abuse
  • Must be emotionally stable without the need for prohibited psych meds

Yes, that’s a lot of requirements, but every one of them exists for a very specific reason.

We hope you find this information useful in your decision-making process. If you have any further concerns or questions, we encourage you to contact one of our staff members for the answers you seek.